Precious Life

Sigh... where do I begin? Here's the story in print, so hopefully I won't have to retell it outloud anymore to those who are wondering ( and keep reliving it. )

Emily had a job interview yesterday morning, so I was babysitting Dylan for a couple of hours. We went to the water park at 10am. The only other people there were a little girl (probably 4 yrs old) and a man with her. There was also a man sitting in his gray Dodge Durango, backed in, so the back of his car was facing the park. (I assumed, incorrectly, that he was attached in some way to the man/girl already there. I don't know what he was doing? Sleeping? Talking on the phone? Killing time in the shade in the parking lot?? Who knows.)

Deirdre arrived with her 3 youngest boys a few minutes later. It was a little chilly, so the kids were skittish in the water - especially Dylan. Manda and Jasper were in and out of the fountains, but Dylan was content wandering around in the sand/climbing on the toys over there. I decided he probably wasn't going to get wet, so I went over and put his T-shirt back on him (not that his beautiful skin would probably burn, but...) He wandered toward the slides, and I walked back over to the ramada/picnic table where Deirdre and Josh (my son) were.

All of a sudden, Deirdre pointed over at Dylan as she realized that he was headed toward the parking lot. I started over there, and then my horror, the Dodge had started and was beginning to pull out of his parking space. I ran, screaming, but Dylan was over the curb, on the passenger side of the car at that point, and had starting running... and got all the way around the front of the car (that kid is QUICK!) to the driver's side tire. There was no way the driver could have seen tiny little Dylan. He was caught, and pushed on the asphalt for a foot or so - very nearly ran over - before the man stopped. I came around the driver's side of the car and saw Dylan stuck there, crying. I pulled him out and held him close as Deirdre brought a towel over to wrap him up, and called 911. The driver of the Dodge also called 911. Dylan's arm was bent behind his back, and his arm, legs, tummy, and mostly his tiny hand had burns, road rash. We tried to call Emily - - but alas, my cell phone was the only one with the number, and it had died on the way to the park. A police officer was there within a couple of minutes, and the fire truck and ambulance were just a minute behind him. I handed Dylan over to the paramedic, who secured him into the ambulance. They wouldn't let me ride in the back, so I went on the longest ride of my life to the hospital in the passenger seat, desperately calling (on Deirdre's phone) everyone I knew to try and contact Emily, Nick, Nick's mom... to get them to the hospital. I waited in the ER family waiting room.

Emily got to the park after we had left - - before anyone had been able to reach her. the policeman was still interviewing the driver about what happened. Deirdre was still there, bless her, with my two kids as well as her three, and unfortunately had to be the one who told Emily what happened. She called me, and started on her way to the hospital. My darling husband and inlaws both arrived before even Emily did. Emily arrived, and the doctor updated her on his situation. Nick and Carl gave Emily and I blessings. We went up to ICU. Emily was able to see Dylan for the first time, while I talked to the Phoenix PD detectives. Nick and Carl gave Dylan a blessing.

I realize this this little boy was miraculously blessed on several levels. Had the driver been going any faster, it would have been tragic. Had Dylan been a step behind, it probably would have been his head instead of his tummy which got caught in the tire. If it weren't for Deirdre... well, I don't want to think about what could have happened.

Keep Dylan, Emily and Brandon in your prayers. Dylan is going to have another surgery on his hand today, and hopefully they will not have to amputate his poor little pinky, which got the worst of it.


Matt, Raynie, Kiah, and Boston Hawes said...

Thanks for the update Shelly... I have watched him before so I know how fast the little guy is :) It was an accident that could have happened to anyone, and we are sad it happened to Dylan and everyone involved. Let me know if there is ANYTHING I can do for you or your family ok!

Karen said...

I am so sorry, please let me know if there is anything you need.

Colman said...

My heart breaks for everyone involved. You are a good person and did the most you could in an unfortunate circumstance. All involved are in our prayers.

the Painters said...

Oh I am so sorry Shelly. What a scary, awful, hellish experience. I hope and pray everything will be alright. You are all in my prayers...especially little Dylan. My heart sank when I read this (yes I do blog surf from time to time.)

The Flynn's said...

Hey Shellie, I'm not sure if I'm signed in as Emily or myself right now but anyway, this is Katie. Thank you for your post and giving us all a better understanding of what happened. I think it's truly a blessing that Emily wasn't there to witness that and I know it must have been horrific for you and Deirdre. Try as hard as you can to get those awful visions out of your head. I can't wait to see Dylan on Monday and give him a big (or little) squeeze.

Sandi said...

Bless you Shellie. You have been a rock during these past few days. Thanks for the story, it serves its purpose well. I won't have to call and ask you for details. I am going to the hospital tonight after work. I'll post an update on the RS Blog.

Amy said...

Hey Shelley...I'm glad to see you were ready to post about it. Hopefully it gets easier over time. I wasn't even there & I keep replaying the scene in my mind...waking up in the middle of the night thinking about it! Our thoughts & prayers are with you & your family as well...

Kim Rose said...

Thank you Shelly. We love and appreciate you so much.
Any chance we can get the RS blog address? I would love to post there as well.
I hope to meet you soon. You are amazing.

Kim Rose
Em's big sister in Idaho

Grandma & Grandpa Stephens said...


Thank you for your blog entry. Thoughts and prayers for you to help you through this time - as it is difficult for you as well.

Warm Regards,

Suzanne Donaldson-Stephens (Dylan's Grandma in Washington State)

Ashlee said...

Shellie- I havent had a chance to talk to you, but you are on my mind and in my prayers. I am so glad to know the Carter family! You and Nick have been rocks and we are glad to have you as our friends. I think it was courageous of you to post the story. In a very difficult sitaution, you did all that anyone could want to happen. I am blessed to know you!